New York Daily Photo Analytics

Wednesday, April 21, 2010

Squadron A Armory

I try not to overuse the word juxtaposition, because if I was not vigilant in its use, I could easily justify using it ad nauseum in regards to the diversity of structures in New York City.
One of the supreme examples of juxtaposition is the palace of Versailles and the town of Versailles in France. In the area neighboring the palace, one finds a town that is pleasant but nothing to prepare one for the grandeur of the palace.

For the residents of Versailles, however, I imagine the palace becomes just another fixture, something one becomes inured to over time. At least that is the experience I have often in New York City. I certainly appreciate our iconic structures, but often it takes spectacular or unusual conditions to bring these things to one's attention.

Where else but in New York City could you discover something this large, having never been aware of its existence? I don't recall even seeing this medieval behemoth, which occupies a full city block on Madison Avenue between 94th and 95th Streets. See 2nd photo here.

This is the Squadron A Armory facade. Facade, because in 1966, demolition began to make way for a new junior high school and apartment complex. However, the Landmarks Preservation Commission intervened, and the demolition was stopped.

Squadron A refers to an historic cavalry unit based out of New York City's Upper East Side. It was formed by a group of wealthy young men with an interest in equestrianism. Read more here.

If you travel up Madison Avenue, don't be so distracted by all the high profile boutiques that you miss Rhinelander's Dream and the medieval ruins of Squadron A Armory...


Anonymous said...

This armory is not anonymous to all! It also houses Hunter College High School; its students lovingly call it "the brick prison."

Horse Badorties said...

I think the residents of Versailles do not look at the palace as "just another fixture", but as a symbol of the repressive monarchy that their ancestors fought to overthrow.